Your Trusted Advisor – talking you down off that ledge

Let’s just say that you are a young and ambitious PM short on wisdom and long on ambition. Drunk on innovation you are looking to bend all the rules and push the limits if bothering to obey them at all. Does anyone see a train wreck coming here? Who or what is going to keep you from hurting yourself on your quest to reinvent the industry? Maybe your boss, maybe the system; but they all come with agendas and baggage. You need to find that advisor within your team to talk you down off that ledge.

I believe that this person is different from a mentor. They are not the confidante feeding you the true pulse of the team or acting as your private sounding board. They are not necessarily there to encourage you. Let’s assume you have no need for more self-confidence. Quite the contrary. This advisor is here to shoot you straight when you are getting too big for your britches or too close to the ledge.  Unique from a mentor, this advisor does not need to be older or in the same field as you. They are not viewing the issues from a career trajectory standpoint but rather a project level success standpoint with only the immediate variables in view.

The catch is that you have to be ready, willing, and able to listen to them.

As simple as this sounds, when you are pushing your team and many other risk-averse senior staff to their limits it can be viewed as progressive. When the status quo is cautioning your advance, your impassioned innovation is what drives your value. There is a need for an advisor whom you will listen to in spite of their advice contrary to your most strongly held positions.

Failure itself will bring you down a notch. Try a surrogate in the form of that wise conservative advisor. It’s much less painful if you are willing to listen!

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